Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Enwikipedia: Is the info really true?

"We come from a tradition in which knowledge has to be vouched for, authorized and approved by experts before it is allowed to reach us" (p.84). Wikipedia is a site where some information may be false rather than true. YOu have to be careful about using wikipedia because no one has authority over it- anyone can write and edit an entry, regardless of credentials. That is why wikipedia is not recognized as a good source for research by professors. It may be easy to access, but it is hard to check its validity.



  1. Fred, I also thought it was correct until our studies . Great point....

  2. Many people are quick to bash Wikipedia but the site has made a great deal of improvements. For example, anything that is cited on the website generally has a link to where the information was obtained from (unless of course it was a print source). You can now very easily click a link and verify the information yourself. The site also has its team of editors that were mentioned in the book. On certain topics (check out any page regarding politics for example), they will even put disclaimers up saying that there may be biased information on the page. There is definitely some policing going on on the site now, and the members are actually doing a pretty good job to keep things in check.

    I'll confess - I actually do find the site to be very useful when I do research. If I need broad overviews of a topic, sometimes I will check the page. Then I'll take a trip down the citations section, find links to the initial postings, and then look into them to see how legitimate they are. So even though Wikipedia itself may not be a good source, it can definitely lead you to many good ones.

  3. As I said in an earlier point, it's a great place to start, and the problem with it is less about it's accuracy than the fact that anything you cite is subject to change, rendering the citation erroneous.